1986 Computer digital art and music


Stephen Bell exhibited in Art, Science and Industry, Consort Gallery, Imperial College, London.

Brian Reffin Smith – appointed Professor of Art and Computer Science at the École Nationale Supérieure d’art, Bourges, France. Continued until 2011.

Charles Csuri founded Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD) at Ohio State University, served as Director until 1990. Csuri also exhibited at 42nd Biennale de Venezia, Venice Italy.

Adrian Wilson – first photographer to specialize in digitally manipulated art, using Quantel Paintbox, in early 1986.

Judy Malloy – hyperfiction ‘Uncle Roger’ which was first released on BBS Art Com Electronic Network ACEN on the WELL (Whole Earth ‘Lectronic Link) in December. Published online as interactive hypertext on ACEN  Coded in BASIC as a ‘nonsequential’ (non-linear) fiction  in three parts. Available 1987-1988  on 5 ¼ floppy disks by Art Com catalogue and published in 1995 on a website. Still online now on WELL (2022).

David Hockney used the Quantel Paintbox for BBC 2 documentary series Painting with Light which was broadcast in 1987.

Encyclopedia Of Artificial Intelligence (Wiley) published. Harold Cohen contributes ‘AI in Art’.

The Aesthetics of Computer Art’ – panel for SIGGRAPH (Special Interest Group on Graphics of the Association for Computing Imagery) held in Dallas USA.

Prints & Plots C 86 in Cologne, Germany, in June 1986. Artists Wolfgang Blobel and Wolfgang Zach.

Computer-Kunst 86 exhibition in Gladbeck, Germany, from June to July 1986. Curator Wolfgang Schneider, with 15 artists including Hans Dehlinger and Georg Nees. Follow-up of Prints & Plots exhibition.

Commodore Amiga became widely available in 1986. Introduced Deluxe Paint.

Pixar was formed when the Special Effects Computer Group at Lucasfilm (who worked on Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan) became independent, were renamed and bought out by Steve Jobs in February in 1986. Previously the group had made animated sequences and also used and sold a graphics computer called Pixar, from Picture Machine.

Luxo Jr. was premiered by Pixar at SIGGRAPH. It was a 2-minute short film which was ground-breaking for animation, particularly for the first use of shadows in CGI. at the computer graphics convention. It was the first CGI film to be nominated for an Academy Award. Studios.

Ventura Publisher 1.0 – originally from Xerox, Ventura was a popular and professional desktop publishing program (DTP) for the GEM and DOS (PC) operating systems. It was the first publishing program for the IBM PC platform. Aldus PageMaker was initially more popular on the Apple Mac platform.

Kyma was created to compute digital audio samples on a Macintosh and was written by Carla Scaletti in the Smalltalk programming language. This programming system has evolved over many years and is still around today. See 1989.

Theodore Roszak –  The Cult of Information: A Neo-Luddite Treatise on High-Tech, Artificial Intelligence, and the True Art of Thinking. Prescient book debunks the ‘cultlike mystique’ around the computer.

Sound Sampler (Cheetah Marketing) – an analogue to digital sound converter system for the Sinclair Spectrum home computer. Very cheap sampler with preamp etc.

Computereyes/2 – image grab hardware board for Apple IIe. Made by Digital Vision Inc.

Brain virus – first computer virus for IBM PC, originates in January from Pakistan as innocent product checking software but copies itself everywhere. Infects via floppy disks (1970-80s portable storage technology).

Microwave Ovens – typical of Western nations, in 1986 over 25% of households in the U.S.A. owned a microwave,  from 1% in 1971. In developing countries adoption was slower as people bought more useful refrigerators and ovens first. Russia (Soviet Union in those days) was rumoured to have banned them with propaganda about radiation dangers, but this is ‘fake news’, as they  made and sold them from the 1970s, but they were very expensive.

Peter Gabriel‘s song ‘Sledgehammer’ video created by Aardman Animations (Bristol, UK). This novel computer video animation wins many awards, including a record nine MTV Video Music Awards in 1987.

Kraftwerk – Electric Café, their last proper album.

The Designers Republic – graphic design studio based in Sheffield, England, founded by Ian Anderson and Nick Phillips. Known for electronic music logos and album artwork with anti-establishment aesthetics, aping the ‘brash consumerism and uniform style of corporate brands’.

Chernobyl nuclear disaster was caused by a nuclear accident that occurred during a test shutdown, on Saturday 26 April 1986, at the No. 4 reactor in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, near the city of Pripyat in the north of the Ukrainian SSR.  The much smaller US Three Mile Island nuclear accident was in 1979.